Hiking in the Austrian Alps with the Mountaineers
July 2005
Hiking in the Austrian Alps is very different from hiking in the Olympics. Our hikes usually began by taking a combination
of bus, train, ski lift, or ski tram to the trailhead.
When we reached the trail head, we were frequently greeted by the ring of cow bells. Out on the trail we could
sometimes hear cow bells from a mile or two, and when the cows were more numerous, the bells chimed like a church
tower. For the most part, it seemed that the number of cows were properly limited to restrict over grazing.
At the lower elevations, the farmers were busy harvesting hay
for winter. By comparison with US farming, the farming was
quite labor intensive.
Lunch took place at "huts" located in the mountains. There one could buy soup, food, and beer and enjoy the
spectacular views..
Trails were well marked with signs showing the distance in estimated "standard" time. Painted stripes on rocks and poles
made it effortless to stay on the trail.